Background: Patients choosing between hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) should be well informed of the risks and benefits of each modality. Invasive access interventions are important outcomes because frequent interventions lower patient's quality of life and consume limited resources. The objective of this study was to compare the risk of access interventions between the two modalities.
Methods: Three hundred and sixty-nine incident chronic dialysis patients were prospectively enrolled at four Canadian centers that were eligible for both modalities, received at least 4 months of pre-dialysis care and started dialysis electively as an outpatient. Two hundred and twenty-four (61%) chose PD and 145 (39%) chose HD. Patients were followed for an average of 1.3 years (range 0.07-3.6 years).
Results: In the PD group, there were fewer access interventions (2.5 versus 3.1 interventions per patient, adjusted odds ratio of 0.79 for PD versus HD, P = 0.005) and a lower intervention rate (2.3 versus 1.9 per patient-year, adjusted rate ratio of 0.81 for PD versus HD, P = 0.04). PD catheters were less likely to experience primary failure (4.6 versus 32%, P < 0.0001), showed a trend toward lower intervention rates during use (0.8 versus 1.2 per patient-year, P = 0.06), and had equal patency compared to fistulae (1-year patency of 84 versus 88%, P = 0.48). Patients managed exclusively with HD catheters (28% of the HD group) required 1.7 interventions per patient and an intervention rate of 1.9 per patient-year.
Conclusion: Patients who choose PD require fewer access interventions to maintain dialysis access than patients choosing HD.